'A good man': What King Charles is like, according to celebrities who have spent time with him

·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK
·8-min read
Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster are greeted by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales at The Prince's Trust 35th Anniversary Reception at Clarence House on July 8, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster greeted by the King at The Prince's Trust 35th Anniversary Reception in London in 2011. (Getty Images)

The Queen’s death marked the end of an era but also the start of a new one: the reign of King Charles III and the transition from the Elizabethan to the Carolean age.

The 73-year-old grandfather, who has been heir apparent since he was three years old, is finally fulfilling his destiny. Known for his charitable endeavours – most notably his efforts around supporting youths with The Prince’s Trust – Charles is a staunch climate crusader.

But what’s he like as a person and will he make a good monarch? We look to the celebrities who have spent time with him and have provided insight as to his character.

Miriam Margolyes

Margolyes, 81, revealed in her memoir, This Much is True, she feels "very protective" about Charles.

“We have met a handful of times over the years but I was amazed when Lindy my agent rang me to say, ‘Prince Charles has invited you to go and spend three nights in a house party in Sandringham'" she wrote.

Describing her visit, which included swimming with Camilla, she described the King and Queen Consort as “cracking good hosts”.

Margolyes and her fellow guests, which included David Hockney and Stephen Fry, were entertained by Charles performing a monologue written by Barry Humphries. “The prince is a fine actor, he had a superb Aussie accent and he made us all laugh,” she recalled.

She added, “I think he’s a good man who cares a great deal for the country, and I can’t bear the horrid things people write about him and the other members of the Royal Family.”

Rod Stewart

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall greet British singer Rod Stewart after a gala concert to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Philadelphia Academy of Music on 27th January, 2007. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
The King and Queen Consort greet Rod Stewart after a gala concert to mark the 150th anniversary of the Philadelphia Academy of Music, January 2007. (Getty Images)

Rock star Rod Stewart, 77, is thought to be a close friend of the King. He was previously an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and performed at his 60th birthday in addition to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this year.

During a BBC Breakfast interview, when Naga Munchetty asked who he thought was most likely to get up and dance out of the royals at the Jubilee, he responded, “Umm, Charles” explaining this was his answer, “because I love him, and my wife absolutely adores him”.

“She [the late Queen] has been so much a part of my life she’s almost like a sister, she has always been in the background," he added.

Richard E. Grant

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales shakes hands with Richard E. Grant during the Prince's Trust Awards Trophy Ceremony at St James Palace on October 21, 2021 in London, England. The Prince's Trust Awards recognize young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby - Pool/Getty Images)
The King shakes hands with Richard E. Grant during the Prince's Trust Awards Trophy Ceremony at St James Palace in London, October 2021. (Getty Images)

In his upcoming memoir, actor Richard E. Grant, 65, praised the King for the kindness shown to his wife before her death from lung cancer last September.

Grant explains that he and Camilla sent long, solicitous letters and arranged a visit to Highgrove House around Washington’s medical appointments.

He told the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine, “He’s a well-documented fan of accents and The Goon Show, and as my wife was an accent coach he loved her ability to do different voices.”

“They were both extraordinarily kind, visiting and so on, given how busy he is,” added Grant.

Ainsley Harriott

Ainsley Harriott, 65, said he and Charles “ended up having a right old giggle” when Harriott was awarded an MBE in 2020 for his services to broadcasting and culinary arts.

“He was telling me he used to watch my TV shows with his children, then we were nattering about growing herbs,” the chef told the iPaper last September.

“He’s a really keen gardener and he knows what he’s talking about.”

Luke Evans

Luke Evans speaks with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during a dinner to celebrate 'The Princes Trust' at Buckingham Palace on March 12, 2019 in London, England. The Prince of Wales, President, The Prince’s Trust Group hosted a  dinner for donors, supporters and ambassadors of Prince’s Trust International. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Luke Evans speaks with the King during a dinner to celebrate The Prince's Trust at Buckingham Palace, March 2019. (Getty Images)

Welsh actor and singer Luke Evans, 43, this week spoke of the new monarch’s natural ability to “find a common ground” with whoever he talks to.

“He’s an honorary Welshman to us too, and has been a wonderful representative of our country,” Evans told Good Morning Britain on Tuesday.

Evans narrated ITV’s 2019 programme Charles: 50 Years A Prince and said that his work as an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust has enabled him to meet the King “several times” over the last decade. “It’s always been a very enjoyable experience I have to say,” he added.

“I think that’s one thing you notice when you’re with King Charles: his company. It doesn’t matter what walk of life you’re from, what age you are, he finds a common ground, and makes you feel that you deserve to be there.”

Carol Vorderman

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) talks with Carol Vorderman as he hosts a reception for the Prince's Trust Job Ambassadors to mark the appointment of one hundred Job Ambassadors at Clarence House on June 20, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Arthur Edwards - Pool/Getty Images)
The King talks with Carol Vorderman as he hosts a reception for the Prince's Trust Job Ambassadors at Clarence House in London, June 2013. (Getty Images)

TV star Carol Vorderman, 61, shared a heart-felt tribute for the new King on her Instagram on Sunday.

She praised him for championing environmental issues and young people “decades before it became popular” and believes “he will become a great King”.

Vorderman is an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and said she has met the King and Queen Consort many times.

Sharing a series of images of Charles, the Trust’s logo, and her encounters with the monarch, she wrote in part: "Long Live The King

"I wish King Charles every element of peace, joy and strength during his reign. I believe he will become a great King. For decades before it became popular, he has championed environmental issues and young people.

“One thing I know beyond any doubt whatsoever is that King Charles believes that no matter your background, no matter your story so far, there is goodness and a hope within us all,” she added.

She said she has "only words of respect and love towards [Charles and Camilla]."

Sir Trevor McDonald

The King being interviewed by Sir Trevor McDonald for The Prince of Wales: Up Close. (ITV/PA Media)
The King being interviewed by Sir Trevor McDonald for The Prince of Wales: Up Close. (ITV/PA Media)

Sir Trevor McDonald, 83, knighted for his services to journalism in 1999, interviewed Prince Charles in 2006 for the documentary The Prince of Wales: Up Close.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Saturday, “In a way, we are terribly fortunate at this time to have someone who took part in a conversation that is now universally recognised as very important about the planet in which we all live.

“We know there is a King on the throne who has led this conversation, who has a deep understanding of all the issues involved and I think that is matter of great good fortune for our country and for the Commonwealth.

“I was fortunate enough to do a documentary about him and his duties in the family and he said, ‘You know I am probably a little misrepresented at times.’

“What I remember about it is he said, ‘What people don’t understand is that I have a profound love for this country and I would do my duty’ and that is what we have seen in glorious colour. He will be a great King.”

On what we might expect from Charles, he added, “I think his profound love and respect for the job, and respect of what his mother Queen Elizabeth did, will guide him through.

“He will take a very practical approach to some of these problems and he will be the great encourager, he will want to talk to people involved.”

Sir Ben Kingsley

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets Sir Ben Kingsley (L) and Martina Milburn, chief executive of the Prince's Trust (2nd, R) and is presented with a Digital Book of Memories, containing messages recorded by young people and supporters of The Princes Trust, during a garden party to mark the 40th anniversary of the Prince's Trust at Buckingham Palace on May 17, 2016 in London, England. The garden party is held in honour of the 5,000 supporters and beneficiaries of The Prince's Trust. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The King meets Sir Ben Kingsley and is presented with a Digital Book of Memories during a 40th anniversary of the Prince's Trust party at Buckingham Palace, May 2016. (Getty Images)

Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley, 78, only had positive things to say about the King during the 40th anniversary of The Prince’s Trust in 2016.

“I think he’s a very unique combination of enormous compassion, without ego – it’s a very rare combination," he said.

As someone who has been an ambassador himself, he also spoke of the charity's benefits. “It’s not throwing money at the problem, it’s throwing intelligence and care and affection, and I think at the centre of it is HRH’s [His Royal Highness] profound affection for what he does and the people for whom he does it."

The Trust grew from Charles’ concern that young people were being excluded from society through a lack of opportunity. He used his severance pay when leaving the Royal Navy to fund a number of community schemes, marking its early initiatives

Additional reporting PA.

Watch: King Charles vows to serve with 'loyalty, respect and love' in first address to nation